An over-the-hill movie producer marries a wealthy, spiteful woman and closeted lesbian just to please his spoiled daughter who then, in an attempt to spite him, seduces both a wealthy ... See full summary »
Marina's sister drowned herself, her brother is both headstrong and weak, and her widowed mother has a reputation for sleeping around. Plus, Marina, who's family was rich before the war, is... See full summary »
In the 1600s, cowardly Sir Simon of Canterville flees a duel and seeks solace in the family castle. His ashamed father seals him in the room where he is hiding and dooms him to life as a ... See full summary »
Norman Z. McLeod
A cautionary tale. A plane carrying a weapon more dangerous than a nuclear weapon goes down near Greece. To prevent panic, the officials go in dressed as tourists (who are dressed so ... See full summary »
Vincent, a young man from Paris, arrives at the small Spanish village of Caldeya. where his has been loaned a home by his friend, Reginald. He meets Pascal Regnier, a novelist engaged in ... See full summary »
Early on in A Dream of Passion, the embattled Greek diva played by Melina Mercouri is accused of "reducing the tragedy of Medea to the level of Ms. Magazine!" Blindly oblivious to his own warning, writer/director Jules Dassin goes on to do precisely that for the next hour-and-a-half. The result is one of those irresistibly awful films that contrive, somehow, to be more compelling than most good ones.
Returning to her native Greece to shoot a film of Euripides' tragedy, Mercouri's jet-setting grande dame meets and becomes obsessed with a dowdy, Bible-spouting American housewife (Ellen Burstyn) who committed the crime of Medea in real life. In other words, she murdered her three children as a way to punish her unfaithful husband. As the two women meet, merge and swap identities, Dassin tries hard to navigate the tortuously trendy Life-Or-Art labyrinth so beloved of Ingmar Bergman and Carlos Saura.
Unfortunately, Dassin is far too lumpish and literal-minded a director for such high-falutin head games. Mercouri flings herself headlong into her role as a glamorous tragedienne. It is, truly, a piece of Acting in the Grand Manner. Burstyn, predictably, is much more subtle - or about as subtle as a deranged fundamentalist child-murderer can possibly be. Alas, the acting styles of the two ladies are so diametrically opposed, it's impossible to picture them in the same universe, never mind the same film.
No matter. A Dream of Passion did hold me riveted throughout. If only for the mind-blowing, jaw-dropping pretentiousness on display!
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